Vegan Shepherd's Pie: A Sort-of Recipe

Vegan Shepherd's Pie and Fresh Greens

A couple of weeks ago I had some leftover mashed potatoes to use up and so I decided to make a shepherd's pie. I wasn't sure how it would turn out and sort of made it up as I went along, and it ended up being fantastic. My husband really loved it, and I think it's the perfect meal for one of those comfort-food-craving-days. Unfortunately, I don't have an actual recipe, so I am going to try and share with you the basics in case you want to try out your own version some time.

I won't bother explaining how to make mashed potatoes, because I am pretty sure you either know how or can figure it out pretty easily. And I am not sure how much I had, but basically it was enough to cover a rectangular 8 x 12 casserole dish.

Shepherd's pie in casserole pan

Besides the mashed potatoes, you will also need:
3 large carrots
1/2 to 1 whole bunch of celery plus leaves (I used a lot of celery)
1 large onion
fresh parsley
3 cloves garlic
1 can tomato sauce
1 package meatless grounds, (like Yves or TJS meatless grounds)
1 and 1/2 cup frozen peas
1 tablespoon chili powder

You will also need some: vegetable broth, olive oil, sherry, tamari sauce (or Braggs), Italian seasoning, salt and pepper (to taste).

Beef-less grounds

Dice the carrots and celery and chop the onion. Add some olive oil and/or vegetable broth to a pan and saute the garlic (minced), onion, carrots and celery over low to medium heat. I switched back and forth between covering and uncovering the pan, stirring periodically. After a few minutes, add the celery leaves, Italian seasoning, and stir. Cook down some more and add the tamari or braggs. Cook down a little more then add the sherry. I am not sure how long I cooked everything--just until it started to look and feel tender. At some point, you want to turn the oven on to 350 so that it has time to preheat.

Add the fresh parsley and the crumbles. (I used the Trader Joes Beefless crumbles.) Add 1 can of tomato sauce and 1 tablespoon chili powder. Stir in about a cup and a half of frozen peas.Mix everything well and then pour everything into your casserole pan. Spread it out evenly, and then scoop your mashed potatoes on to the top of the filling.

Bake at 350 for 40 to 45 minutes. Serve with some leafy greens--I recommend spinach, arugula, kale, or even some combination of the three! The shepherd's pie also makes great leftovers for re-heating the following day too. (Also, for a gluten-free variation, I can see using beans or lentils instead of the beefless grounds, and if well-seasoned, that could be pretty tasty too!)

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